16 Amazing Health Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

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16 amazing health benefits of sunflower seeds

16 Amazing health benefits of sunflower seeds

Amazing health benefits of sunflower seeds! Sunflower seeds are popular in trail mix, multi-grain bread and nutrition bars, as well as for snacking straight from the bag.

We are all guilty of having an unhealthy relationship with junk food, not realizing it until and unless it takes a toll on our waistline and puts us at risk of several other health problems.

One of the biggest issues that most weight watchers face is snacking. We clearly know nuts and seeds are some of the healthiest options available on the market, and sunflower seeds, in particular, are full of nutrition.

Adding sunflower seeds to your diet could do wonders for your skin, heart, immunity and overall health.

So read below to find out five easy benefits of the simple seeds, which you can’t afford to skip!

1. Good for your workouts

To fuel your workouts, you need the right kind of food which makes up for the missing nutrients and electrolytes that can give you energy and, at the same time, aid in the recovery process.

Sunflower seeds contain a powerful extract called Thiamin (Vitamin B1) which plays an essential role in managing the energy production in the body, muscle building, blood transmission and restoring vital balance in the body post an engaging workout. A handful of seeds before or after a workout can fill you up in no time.

2. Balances the hormonal function

Sunflower seeds are also rich in 100 different kinds of enzymes that regulate hormonal balance in the body.

For women especially, the enzymes in the seeds can balance out the production of estrogen and progesterone and prove to be helpful in managing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, thyroid and also curb morning sickness which often happens during the first trimester of pregnancy.

The Vitamin B6 present in the seeds helps synthesize protein and metabolism, promoting body balance.

3. Regulates body fat

A big benefit of sunflower seeds lies in its rich magnesium content, which not just promotes good heart health but also detoxifies the body of toxins by working from the cellular level and rooting out the bad germs and actively fights against the extra fat which can accumulate when the metabolism isn’t functioning properly.

It also lessens the risk of developing cardiovascular problems in the long run.

4. Induces satiety

Sunflower seeds can lower bad cholesterol levels but are high in good calories which work to lower your hunger pangs and induce satiety in the body. This way, you can fill yourself up without having to eat a lot.

5. Good for digestion

Another benefit of sunflower seeds comes from the fact that it is a good agent to act on the symptoms associated with constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The enzymes present in the seeds regulate the secretion of digestive juices and eliminate unnecessary toxins from the body, making sure that your stomach and the gut keep on functioning well at all times.

6. Immunity booster

Immunity boosting effects of sunflower seeds are due to the presence of vitamin E, zinc and selenium in them.

Vitamin E enhances immune responses and protects against several infectious diseases. It is also a powerful antioxidant and prevents free radicals from damaging healthy cells in our body.

Zinc protects our body from inflammation, allergies and invading pathogens, thus preventing infections and increasing overall immunity.

Selenium reduces inflammation and enhances immunity. It also helps to reduce oxidative stress from free radicals.

7. Reduces cholesterol

The fibre content of sunflower seeds decreases levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood. Niacin or vitamin B3 present in sunflower seeds reduces total cholesterol levels and risk of heart diseases.

Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid in sunflower seeds increases HDL cholesterol and reduces total serum cholesterol levels.

8. Reduces risk of cancer

Beta-sitosterol, a phytosterol present in sunflower seeds helps to prevent breast cancer. It inhibits the growth of tumour cells, decreases the size of the tumour and also prevents metastasis.

The presence of strong antioxidants in sunflower seeds also reduces the risk of cancer. Consumption of these seeds also reduces the chances of colon cancer.

9. Boosts function of Brain

Sunflower seeds contain vitamin B6. It improves mood and concentration and enhances memory. It releases serotonin and norepinephrine in our body. Sunflower seeds also help to ease symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

10. Helps in weight loss

Sunflower seeds are rich in proteins and fibre. They make us feel full for a long time, reduce our food intake and, finally, reduce the number of calories consumed. This helps in the reduction of weight.

11. A Powerhouse of Energy

Sunflower seeds are a good source of thiamine (vitamin B1). Thiamine helps to breakdown carbohydrates, proteins and fats present in our food into energy. They also help in muscle building. A handful of sunflower seeds can give you instant energy when consumed.

12. Helps in Treatment of Anaemia

Sunflower seeds are a good source of iron. Consuming these seeds helps to up our iron levels; thus, it helps people suffering from anaemia.

13. Helps to Detox our Body

Sunflower seeds have potent antibacterial activity. They help in effectively removing bacteria and germs from cells. They also help to flush out toxins from our body.

14. Good for our Skin

Consuming sunflower seeds keep our skin glowing. Antibacterial and antifungal activity of these seeds also prevents infections, thus keeping our skin clear.

Oleic and linoleic acids, present in sunflower seeds help in the formation of collagen and elastin, speeding up wound healing. They also prevent the formation of scars.

15. Helpful During Pregnancy

Sunflower seeds are loaded with Vitamine E, which is a nutrient known to be extremely beneficial for prenatal health. This means, Vitamin E helps in the development of the baby inside the womb. Therefore, sunflower seeds are an effective source of nutrition for pregnant women and their babies.

16. Cardioprotective Effects

Sunflower seeds are rich in oleic and linoleic acid and low in saturated fats and sodium. They also contain magnesium, potassium and fibre.

They help to lower blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels. Consuming them also reduces the occurrence of arrhythmias. All these effects help to protect our body from the occurrence of cardiovascular disorders.

The Sunflower Seeds are usually of two types

  • Sunflower Seeds that we eat
  • Sunflower Seeds used to extract oil.

Around 2000 seeds are obtained from large sunflower heads. So these seeds can be eaten as a snack or they can be added to :

  • Mukhwas
  • Nutrition bars
  • Bread
  • Muffins
  • Yoghurt
  • Stir-fries
  • Salads

You can even have sunflower butter made using these seeds.

Side effects of Sunflower Seeds

  • Excess consumption of sunflower seeds may cause vomiting, stomach ache and constipation.
  • People allergic to sunflower seeds may show symptoms like vomiting, rashes, breathing problems, swelling and itching around the mouth etc.
  • Sunflower seeds are rich in calories. So consuming too much may lead to weight gain.
  • Sunflower seeds contain traces of cadmium. So eating too many seeds can be harmful to our kidneys.
  • Eating contaminated sprouted seeds may lead to bacterial infection (Salmonella).

Daily Dose of Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds should not be consumed more than 1 small cup (around 30 grams) per day.

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